by Sharron Warren

Archive for March, 2016

Life ain’t always beautiful, but it’s a beautiful ride

color2

Doing life simple has never been my way

I complicate things then try to hide away

The longer my brain matters the easier this becomes

Will I remember to be sad when it’s time to go away

Much of the information on my BLOG has been hunted and researched to give you different views or a different way to view the information.

As I have said before – it is getting harder as I travel down this journey gathering information and expressing my thoughts and views.  I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in a few recent posts but since I don’t remember every post it’s easier for me to repeat than reread through all the BLOG.  What a life!!  Yes, it does sound lazy but less frustrating. Frustration is something you do not want a person with Alzheimer’s to deal with.

 

Elder abuse on the rise

A terrible subject to think about much less address is Elder Abuse.  This month I’ll list 6 types of Elder Abuse with more information in May’s BLOG

As most of us know this can happen to any aging person whether they have Alzheimer’s or not but being a care partner/caregiver is very tiring.  Below are a few types of Elder Abuse that can take place in a facility or at home.

 

6 Types of Elder Abuse:

  • Physical: Hitting, kicking, pushing, slapping, burning, or force causing injury
  • Neglect: Failing to meet basic needs like food, housing, clothing & medical care
  • Sexual: Engaging in a sexual act without consent
  • Abandonment: Leaving elder alone or no longer providing care
  • Emotional: Harming self-worth or emotional well-being, name calling and scaring
  • Financial: Illegally misusing an elder’s money, property, or assets

 

How to Help Stop Elder Abuse

  • Be a friend to an elderly person:  help provide transportation, home repairs and your understanding.  My son helps out his elderly neighbors with yard work or moving furniture. You can then observe how they are doing.
  • As a neighbor or a friend report suspected cases of elder abuse to your local Department of Social Services or the Police.
  • These people are mandated reporters for Elder Abuse:  Physicians, nurses, health care professionals, persons providing care for adults for pay, mental health professionals, social workers, and law enforcement offices.

 

I’ve talked before how music and art may reduce agitation and improve behavior problems for those in the early to middle- stages and has also proven helpful for those in late-stage Alzheimer’s.  Below are some helpful hints.

 

Use these tips when selecting music for a person with dementia:

  • Identify music that’s familiar and enjoyable to the person.  If possible, let the person help choose the music.  I find that rock or loud music to be irritating.  I prefer New Age music.  Tom knows this and is very thoughtful.
  • If possible load some music on something such as a MP3 player with headphones. An iPod is excellent.
  •  A tranquil piece of music can help create a calm environment, while a faster paced song from someone’s childhood may boost spirit and evoke happy memories.
  • Encourage clapping and dancing to add to the enjoyment.  Those chair or bed bound can still clap and move about.
  • Eliminate competing noises by shutting windows and doors and by turning off the television. Make sure the volume of the music is not too loud.

 

Next month I’ll talk on why art is so important.  My arts and crafts help me immensely.

 

womensprintad_sharronwarren

 

So Sharron, How are you doing?

  • I did a little blurb for an Alzheimer’s article a couple of years ago called “My Brain Matters.”   Since that article I’ve come to realize just how much my brain does matters.  Monthly, weekly or daily there are more and more misfires.  I am slowly but surly heading downward.  The strangest thing for me is that I can concentrate hard and go for a week with most of my cylinders working then it’s gone.  That’s my perception.  Tom tells me that while I have good days the really good ones are not that great anymore

 

  • This rotten leg is the gift that keeps giving.  As I read several forums for my type of leg fracture I find that I am not the norm – gee, imagine that!!

 

  • Relief from my hardware removal did not come to me and seems to only have made matters worse.  My trauma orthopedic surgeon told me within a year or so I will need a knee replacement.  It’s the normal for my type of fracture – the worse the fracture and the older you are things move faster.  I promised myself that I’d have no surgery this year – three last year was enough.  That sadly is not to be.  I found a wonderful orthopedic surgeon who after taking x-rays asked when I wanted to schedule the surgery.  That was not what I wanted to hear.

 

  • The more I talk the happier I am – whether to friends or a group.  This makes me feel as if the Alzheimer’s is hiding for a while and I am the same person I was 5-6 years ago.  That is why being able to talk at the last two Alzheimer’s Walk’s, and given the opportunity to speak at Brookdale and Williamsburg Landing were such happy times for me.  Radio & newspaper interviews are the best!  It doesn’t matter what my hair looks like!

 

I am enjoying life.  Vacation time is here!

brain

THE WALK

 

The 2016 Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s®  is on Oct 22 at Matthew Whaley Elementary School. This will be my 3rd walk.

In 2015 our chapter (Southeastern Virginia) raised over $735,000 through 6 chapter-hosted Walk events.  My wonderful team – The Villas of Five Forks – raised over $4500 and we placed 5th in Williamsburg – right below all the LARGE corporate teams.  WE ROCK!!  My aim is HIGH for 2016.  I’m sure it will involve a new car!!  Get those $20’s out and ready!

I have a few suggestions for Villa fundraisers. Let me hear from you if you are willing to help, most fun and wine of course!!  I’m ahead of myself as I love to plan.  I am also looking for new items to auction at several events. We need store gift cards (grocery stores would be nice) or any new store items.  Gift baskets are always a hit.  If you’re in the know that would be great for Team Villa.  If you own a business and are willing to help sponsor Team Villa shout out to me.

 

As always thank you for your love and support.

Spring is here with Summer nipping at it’s heels.

fla8

 

 

O HAPPY DAY

indbeach1

“I see the ocean while crossing the bridge, my heart skips a beat. When was I here last to smell the clean air and amaze at the ocean?  It doesn’t matter as it still mesmerizes my mind….close my eyes and the sound is still there, I take a deep breath and breathe in the calm knowing that this is where I belong”. SW

 

My man Joe Friday – “Just the facts, ma’am.”

The popular social understanding is that Alzheimer’s is a disease that causes a loss of memory, but that turns out to be a cruel misrepresentation. The devastation is much more pervasive. As brain systems are progressively destroyed, behavioral and physical functioning become more and more impaired. Systems for memory, decision-making, judgement, sense of direction/location, speech, continence, walking and eating are all methodically destroyed until the disease progression ends in death.

The losses keep multiplying. Loss of partner, loss of shared decision-maker, loss of roles/functions in the household, loss of shared memories and humorous stories, loss of identity as the person no longer remembers themselves, his or her children or their spouse.

Sad but this could be your family. The average total cost per person with dementia five years before death was more than $287,000. That number compared to costs ranging from $173,000 to $197,000 among groups without any form of dementia. But, the average out-of-pocket spending for dementia patients was 81 percent higher than it was for those without dementia.

The “This can not happen to me” people had better start preparing. Think about helping with Alzheimer’s research by getting into a clinical trial or making a donation.

 

The Underused Specialist

A geriatrician is a physician already certified in internal or family medicine who has completed additional training in the care of older adults. In addition to providing clinical care, geriatricians are skilled in navigating the labyrinth of psychological and social problems that often arise in the aging population.

Geriatrics is one of the few medical specialties in the United States that the supply of Geriatricians contracting while demand increases, ranking at the bottom of the list of specialties that internal medicine residents choose to pursue.

Since the health care of older patients is covered mostly by Medicare low reimbursement rates make sustaining a geriatric practice difficult.

“Medicare disadvantages geriatricians at every turn, paying whatever is asked for medications and procedures, but a pittance for tough care-planning.

There is something wrong about our health care system – we all know it. I worked and lived that life for years with many physicians. Because of Medicare Geriatric Physicians are not practicing. Shafted by the Government, once again.

My Primary Care Physician is an internist and to me she is as knowledgeable as any Gerontologist. She treats me well, knows how to care and treat seniors (after all this IS Williamsburg!) has my medications all straightened out and the best part is that she is loving and compassionate.

 

So, Sharron……How are you doing?

  • My “bad leg” is not bouncing back as well as I thought it might. Being in pain is a lot to bear most of the time – then you add Alzheimer’s. Not a good combination.
  • I am looking for a way to increase my pleasure in living – I’m sure many are in my shoes. There are those who are happy and content no matter what life throws at them. Some of us have to dig and plan for things to make us content. I’m a digger!
  • Increase of this terrible slow mind robbing disease is just grating on my last nerve. I see myself stumbling and tumbling………..Some of you reading this will know what I mean. Either this is happening to you or you have a loved one with Alzheimer’s. Yes, I still hide it well.
  • A few more vacations are planned for this year – yeah!! I have many hours of driving and/or flying coming up. I’m hoping for days filled with sunshine and relaxation along with new adventures.
  • Life is good.

 

But…………………when things are bad….

86ff72cfc76c990b2ce61b2881bc2d5f

 

 

Monthly humor!

A RETIREE’S LAST TRIP TO COSTCO

Yesterday I was at Costco buying a large bag of Purina dog chow for my loyal pet, Bodie, the Wonder Dog, which weighs 191 lbs. I was in the check-out line when a woman behind me asked if I had a dog.

What did she think I had an elephant?

So because I’m retired and have little to do, on impulse I told her that no, I didn’t have a dog, I was starting the Purina Diet again. I added that I probably  shouldn’t, because I ended up in the hospital last time, but  that I’d lost 50 pounds  before I awakened in an intensive care ward with tubes coming out of most of my orifices and IVs in  both arms.

I told her that it was essentially a Perfect Diet and that the way that it works is, to load your jacket pockets with Purina Nuggets and simply eat one or two every time you feel hungry. The food is nutritionally complete so it works well and I was going to try it again. (I have to mention here that practically everyone in line was now enthralled with my story.)

Horrified, she asked if I ended up in intensive care, because the dog food poisoned me. I told her no, I stopped to Pee on a Fire Hydrant and a car hit me.

I thought the guy behind her was going to have a heart attack he was laughing so hard.

Costco won’t let me shop there anymore.

Better watch what you ask retired people. They have all the time in the World to think of crazy things to say.

 

 

 

garden4

 

Oh YES, here it comes again!!!

The 2016 Williamsburg Walk to End Alzheimer’s® on Oct 22 at Matthew Whaley Elementary School. This will be my 3rd walk and I am so pleased with our Villa team.

In 2015 our chapter (Southeastern Virginia) raised over $735,000 through 6 chapter-hosted Walk events. My wonderful team – The Villas of Five Forks – raised over $4500 and we placed 5th in Williamsburg – right below all the LARGE corporate teams. WE ROCK!! My aim is HIGH for 2016. I’m sure it will involve a new car!!

I have a few suggestions for Villa fundraisers. Let me hear from you if you’re willing to help, most fun and wine of course!!  I’m ahead of myself as this will not be until September but I am excited.  I am also looking for new items to auction at several events at Brookneal (previously know as Chambrel).  I believe they were number one and were so awesome to let us participate at their fundraisers. We need store gift card (grocery stores are nice about that) or any store items.  If you’re in the know that would be great for Team Villa. If you own a business and can help us shout out to me.

I hope all of you will join me again.

 

 

lettuce

”Spring, spring is in the air.

I can feel it everywhere.”

March 20th – Halleluiah

Caregiver in the know

While I do not like repeating information this needs to be memorized. It is so important to anyone with memory issues.

  • Love me as you always did
  • Speak directly to me
  • BE with me
  • Let me be independent. Let me do as much as possible
  • Do not treat me like a burden
  • Keep me engage with family and
  • Make me feel safe – where I live now, equipment I need, falling
  • Celebrate the small things I can do.
  • Take care of YOURSELF – see friends, go out to lunch or dinner
  • Have someone you can talk to
  • Dignity is so important

 

 

download (1)

Thank you for your love and support